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Collin College Celebrates African American History Month

January 15, 2010 – Each February, Collin College joins the rest of the nation in celebrating the many accomplishments and contributions of African Americans in the arts, science, politics, social movements, literature and the development of the United States.

This year’s theme is “The History of Black Economic Empowerment.” African American History Month events at Collin College are free and open to the public.

Events include:

  • Auteur Film Series –  A Century of Black Cinema
    Collin College’s Auteur Film Series will honor African American History Month with a screening of the film A Century of Black Cinema at 7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 1, at the Spring Creek Campus Conference Center. The Century of Black Cinema is a 90-minute documentary recounting the history of African Americans in film dating back to the early days of the medium through the 1990s. The documentary includes commentary from Sidney Poitier, Richard Pryor, Denzel Washington, James Earl Jones and Spike Lee.
  • Poetry Readings
    Dr. R. Flowers Rivera, professor of English, will present “Troubling Accents,” a poetry reading at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 3, at the Central Park Campus, and 1 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 4, at the Spring Creek Campus. Rivera is a Mississippi native with a doctorate in African American literature and creative writing from Binghamton University. Rivera was awarded the 2009 Leo Love Merit Scholarship in Poetry in association with the Taos Summer Writers Conference. Her short story, "The Iron Bars," won the 1999 Peregrine Prize. She is a 2002 finalist for the Naomi Long Madgett Award for Poetry, and she received two nominations for Pushcart XXVII.
  • Dr. Marcus Martin
    Dr. Marcus Martin will speak at the Preston Ridge Campus Event Center from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m., and at the Spring Creek Campus Conference Center from 1-2:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 10. He also will speak from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 11, at the Central Park Campus. Dr. Marcus Martin is the president and CEO of Education is Freedom, a national non-profit organization located in Dallas. Education is Freedom strives to remove the economic obstacles to higher education by providing college scholarships to young people who are overlooked by traditional scholarship programs. Since 2002, Education Is Freedom has provided more than $6 million in renewable scholarships to first generation college attendees across the country.
  • Dr. John Glass
    The Collin College sociology professor will present “This May Come as a Surprise, But We Are All Africans,” from 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 18, at the Preston Ridge Campus Event Center. Recent developments in DNA technology have permitted researchers to track the migration of human beings over the last 60,000 years. These developments have also contributed to the evidence that all modern human beings began their migratory treks from what is now known as the continent of Africa. As such, the DNA evidence indicates that not only did we all come from the same location, but that we are also all genetically related and subsequently the notion that there are separate "races" of people is misinformed.  The presentation will provide an overview of the evidence and discussion of its implications for interpersonal relations.
  • Soul Food Luncheon
    The annual Soul Food Luncheon is set from noon-1:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 26, at the Spring Creek Campus Conference Center. The event is free. The annual Soul Food Luncheon is an excellent opportunity to partake of savory fare and to celebrate the impact of African Americans in the community and in American culture. Attendees are encouraged to bring a dish of their own to share.

The Central Park Campus is located at 2200 W. University Drive in McKinney; the Preston Ridge Campus is located at 9700 Wade Blvd. in Frisco; and the Spring Creek Campus is located at 2800 E. Spring Creek Parkway in Plano.

For more information, e-mail Cathy Whitney, professor of biology, at or Donna Okaro at

Collin College serves more than 46,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs. The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development.